Does your keyboard feature n-key rollover capability?

November 16, 2012

Yes, our backlit mechanical keyboard feature full USB n-key rollover. You can press as many keys as possible and with any keys combination. All of them will registered! Yes, even on USB connection!

Here, we will take a moment to explain what is n-Key Rollover.

n-key rollover, often referred to as NKRO for short, is a term that is known and appreciated by many gaming enthusiasts but may not be as widely known as another term, anti-ghosting. Anti-ghosting is a term frequently used by other popular keyboard manufacturers when marketing their products.  It is important to know the difference between the two terms:

N-Key Rollover:
The press of each key on a keyboard can be detected individually, which means that each key you press will be seen by your operating system no matter how many keys you are holding down simultaneously (hence the variable ‘n’ in n-key to refer to as many keys as are possible to press on a keyboard).

Anti-Ghosting:
This can refer to the ability of a keyboard to recognize 3 or more key presses at once. The main thing to point out is that anti-ghosting usually implies that there is a limit on which combinations set of keys and how many of them can be pressed simultaneously, while n-key rollover keyboards have no such limit. The number of simultaneously recognized key presses varies between each model of keyboard that does not have full n-key rollover. In some ways, you can think of anti-ghosting as an attempt by manufacturers to improve functionality of cheaply made rubber dome keyboards, without having to implement proper n-key rollover functionality.

Why Should I Care About It?
It is probably about time to give an example to bring things into context. Some anti-ghosting capability gaming keyboard does not allow you to press certain 3-key combinations like:

CTRL + W + R (Crouch + Forward + Reload)

In  this case, after pressing the first two keys (Ctrl + W), the third key (R) doesn’t register. While key like this may not be used by every gamer, but it is a real problem for some pro gamers. Whether you are a gamer, a photoshop user, or power user of other software you may come across certain 3-key combinations/shortcuts that may not work. The circuitry in keyboards these days is designed in such a way that only certain key combinations work. Engineers optimize the circuitry so that the most common combinations will work, but the inherent drawback with the designs is that there will be combinations that just won’t work.

You can use the demonstration below or by going to the Microsoft Applied Science ghosting demo page .  Click within the demo and start pressing key combinations…

 

Here is a video review on our Max Keyboard Nighthawk full USB n-key rollover test (n-key test @ 11:37)

Posted in: General & Pre-Sale Questions